CARPENTIER EARNS FIRST PODIUM FINISH IN IRL AT RICHMOND Montreal, Saturday, June 25, 2005 - Starting fourth on the grid, his best qualifying effort of the season, Canadian driver Patrick Carpentier earned the first podium finish of...
CARPENTIER EARNS FIRST PODIUM FINISH IN IRL AT RICHMOND
Montreal, Saturday, June 25, 2005 - Starting fourth on the grid, his best qualifying effort of the season, Canadian driver Patrick Carpentier earned the first podium finish of his initial IRL season, finishing third in Saturday night's Round 7 at the Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. The Red Bull Cheever Racing driver fought for his podium finish by keeping pace with the leaders throughout the 250 laps of the Sun Trust Indy 250.
Team Penske driver, Helio Castroneves, won his first race of the 2005 season, edging out Dario Franchitti at the finish. Fourth place behind Carpentier went to South African Tomas Scheckter, followed by Dan Wheldon. Alex Barron, Carpentier's Red Bull Cheever Racing teammate, finished sixth overall, the last driver on the lead lap.
''We have struggled so much this year that this result feels very good right now,'' said an excited Carpentier following the race. ''It's like a win. Toyota was a great help for us in achieving this result. I'm so happy right now - I can't describe the feeling. This is the joy of racing in IRL, a podium finish. I really enjoyed my night of work. I still can't believe this really happened. What an incredible race. Team Cheever, along with Mecachrome found something during our private test session with Toyota and it made the difference in this race.''
In the provisional standings, Wheldon increased his lead in the standing and now has 292 points. His teammate, Tony Kanaan, who crashed in the race, is still second with 209 points, followed by Richmond race winner Helio Castroneves with 203 points. As for Carpentier, he is back in 10th place with 151 points.
Indy Racing League Series drivers are returning to work next week for Round 8 of the 2005 season at Kansas Speedway. This will be the IRL's fifth visit to the 1.5-mile oval track. Eddie Cheever won the inaugural event in 2001. The race will be held Sunday, July 3, and race fans can watch all the action live at 1:30 p.m. on TSN.